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Do/did you hide your dream from people?

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by psych844, 05.08.12.

  1. psych844

    psych844

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    Did you hide or do you hide the idea that you want to be a psychologist? Maybe you feel the need to hide it because its a long process (and you don't want to get people too excited or feel stupid if you don't end up doing it). Maybe you hide it because people aren't supportive, or hide it from those who look down on the profession, or from those that think it's crazy to be in school that long.

    What are your experiences?
  2. roubs

    roubs Ph.D. Student

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    I didn't.

    I can understand the impulse what with nosy relations and/or demanding parents. I changed career plans enough times that now, as a 4th year grad student, my mom still checks in to make sure I'm not going to move on to something else before finishing. :laugh:, but anyway it will benefit you to confidently explain what you want and why and to let them know, kindly, that you're informing them of a decision not asking for career advice. This may be complicated if your parents are still financially involved in your life :/
  3. TNS1991

    TNS1991

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    I have never really felt the need to hide this from others. Granted, I plan on going into school psychology so my story may be a bit different from others going into clinical. Most everyone I know supports me going into the field. The only possible backlash I get is when I tell this to the ultra Christian homeschooling (no offense) crowd that disapproves immediately when I say the word school. They don't understand that we are health professionals just like the school speech pathologist and school nurse are. The fact that so many people think that because school psychologists work in the school system, that they are not health professionals really bugs me. But that's a rant for another time. Also there is some confusion from people who don't understand what the profession really is and don't understand why I am going to school for so long only to be a teacher of psychology. :laugh:

    I don't really feel the need to hide my career goals because of the long process. This is probably because I am upfront with people that I don't know if I want to pursue the PhD or just stick with an Ed.S. So I don't really feel like I'm giving people false hope if I don't get the PhD.

    Mostly my experience with telling people of my career goals has been pretty positive. Most people I know are aware of the profession and that it is a good career to choice.
  4. voyeurofthemind

    voyeurofthemind

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    I don't tell the general public what I am in school for right off the bat (think seat neighbors on an airplane). I prefer to be saved from all the misconceptions and stupid jokes of what a clinical psychologist does (i.e. read minds, insert thoughts, play "mind games"). I got tired of laughing off the corny jokes and feigning a smile. So now I am just in school -- and if pressed further... for accounting.
  5. G Costanza

    G Costanza

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    I stopped telling people as well. Especially that I'm getting a PhD. When at a party and someone asks, I just say I'm still in school. If they press further, I just say psychology without getting into a career path or the level of degree. When people hear you're getting a PhD, I've noticed that some react with intellectual competitiveness or distancing behavior. It's weird and very off putting for me. I'd rather just be some anonymous student.
  6. paramour

    paramour

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    :laugh: I had something similar happen last night. A new coworker knew (from speaking with administration) that I was working on "a degree." He asked what I was working on and where. The guy has his master's in social work. I think he's great with clients. No issues to date. As soon as he hears doctorate, he starts talking about potentially going back for his PhD. But it's a difficult choice due to it being a "really intensive program" that will basically put his life on hold for an entire summer. Yep. One whole summer. I apparently should have gone to UPhoenix. :p I had to bite my tongue. Really. Really. Hard.
  7. ClinPsychEnthus

    ClinPsychEnthus Psy.D. candidate, VA intern

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    I don't usually hide my career goals/path, but I have had it happen where I was working in one agency, all Masters-level clinicians, and when I decided to begin the admissions process 2 of my co-workers became mean/snarky. One of them had been close to me and knew my clinical work well, and I had asked them for a letter of rec. They gave me a horrible rec (which I confronted them about the discrepancies on) and 2 weeks later was signed up to do their Ed.D. online with Argosy. The other pursued an Ed.D. from a non-accredited program as well. They are both done now and, while I don't work with them any longer, I have run into them at times where they made sure to refer to themselves as "Dr. XX"

    Now I watch my step a lot more with when and how I share my goals. NEVER want that to happen again.
  8. Pragma

    Pragma

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    I was more proud of talking about what I did earlier on in the process than I am now. When I am visiting with extended relatives, the conversation got pretty redundant after the first couple of years. Now it is pretty much, almost 7 years later, "are you done yet?"

    It is fun to talk about with new folks still to an extent. I usually focus on what it is I actually do and not on the title or specialty. But you will never escape the "are you analyzing me right now?" jokes, no matter how hard you try...
  9. paramour

    paramour

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    That's when you just go with it...

    Yes, I've learned all sorts of nifty mind- and behavioral-control techniques the last several years. They've already started... :thumbup:
  10. roubs

    roubs Ph.D. Student

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    I like the "are you paying me right now?" response. Hopefully it's been delivered snarky enough to get across that I've heard this 100 times before :/
  11. Psychadelic2012

    Psychadelic2012 PhD Student

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    Wow, this is so true. When I first started reading this thread, I wondered why anyone would feel the need to hide it (if they would even have that choice). I've also had the experience of people reacting in strange ways to my applying to and starting a PhD program--PsyD students gloating about how hard the program is and "just wait" until I'm in their shoes (um, totally different program), my horrendously horrible LPC supervisor agreeing to write a positive letter and actually writing a barely lukewarm letter (and later making up situations that made me look bad, in order to write a lukewarm evaluation), all of my masters-level colleagues going on about how they also want to be called "Dr." :annoyed:. So, yeah, I get the desire to keep it quiet.
  12. Pragma

    Pragma

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    Not a bad idea :)

    I also am not afraid to say something like "Well, I have been for awhile already, and I was wondering if we could talk separately from everyone for a moment."
  13. paramour

    paramour

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    +1 on the payment response. I've used variations before myself (e.g., Sorry, I'm not on the clock; I'm not being paid; etc.).

    I really like yours though, Pragma. I'll have to remember it for future reference. :laugh:
  14. Pragma

    Pragma

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    That's really too bad. Now, I haven't encountered that type of a situation before, but believe it happens quite a bit.

    However, I also encounter people who are really obnoxious about their titles/specialties and make it a point in non-patient situations to introduce themselves as "Dr. ____" (with an emphasis on the title) to colleagues and staff. Just seems ridiculous to me. I rarely hear of physicians, etc. who try to get other healthcare professionals (e.g., allied professionasl) to call them "Dr."
  15. ToneTone

    ToneTone

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    I don't mind telling people in my life, most people don't seem to know what a Psy.D degree is though so I have to explain. People have been very supportive and encouraging regarding my going to grad school.

    The only time I got a negative reaction was when I was in my undergrad working in retail and a coworker (who had something against me from the very start) asked me what I wanted to do with my life. When I said be a therapist or psychologist she rolled her eyes at me and told me that while she liked listening to people talk too, she didn't consider it a career option. Too bad she got fired literally 15 minutes later. I do wonder what she's up to these days...hmm...
  16. ClinPsychEnthus

    ClinPsychEnthus Psy.D. candidate, VA intern

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    Love this. I'm totally gonna use this some time.:smuggrin:
  17. psych844

    psych844

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    For me, I took some years away from school and last year went back to finish my undergrand. Next fall I should be starting my Masters. Even though I don't rely on my parents, they have difficult jobs and I would love to help in some way, sooner than later.

    I kind of feel I've been taking way too long with school and I could be helping them starting at the end of next year..instead, I've decided I probably want to do MORE school.
  18. phillydave

    phillydave Doctoral Student

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    My experience has been that no one, absolutely NO ONE remembers how much longer I have until I'm finished with school. Even my closest friends ask me at the end of every semester "So you're almost done right?" or "This is your last year?" It's become a really tiring conversation. The answer is always "Nope, I have X years left. Yep, crazy, I know. Yeah I don't know why you thought I was almost done either."
  19. roubs

    roubs Ph.D. Student

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    I've had the same experience with people I see on a regular basis :/
  20. Veit

    Veit

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    I didn't tell my girlfriend's friends what my plans were when I first met them, after her sister made some offhand comment about therapy never working. I don't even remember what it was, except that I just sat there thinking that she could not possibly have said a dumber thing. It wasn't even really a joke, just something like "hahahah, therapy, well, that doesn't do anything for anyone ever." I wanted to tell her that it was the dumbest thing (that thing she said), but I was trying to make a good impression.

    Anyway, it later became apparent that she had had a bad experience as a kid with an Ed.D. that colored her understanding of the field, and her friends who started riffing on it are mostly catty jerks who can eat a biggun, so I don't hide it anymore. When one of them makes a ill-informed psych-related comment (this happens not infrequently), I've gotten into the habit of responding with "that's not correct," and then letting them move on. Not in an aggressive way, and if they want me to elaborate, I will. I just don't abide their BS anymore, which is way less anxiety-provoking than trying to hide my career goals.
  21. sabaijae

    sabaijae

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    Most definitely, especially coming from a family hell-bent on me "gettin' a jawb" straight out of undergrad - which isnt a bad idea before venturing into grad school.
    Last edited: 05.11.12
  22. wigflip

    wigflip

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    I think this is even more of a problem for folks in other disciplines, whose programs are often more loosely structured than psych doctoral programs. The question used to bug me, but now I realize that people don't know what they don't know (namely what graduate study really entails).:
    http://100rsns.blogspot.com/2012/03/80-when-will-you-finish.html
  23. FemmeFeline

    FemmeFeline

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    Maybe because I haven't started the program yet (and the "aren't you done yet?" questions are sparse), but I have also had really good experiences telling people about pursuing a PhD in School Psychology. The majority of people I am surrounded by are impressed about my current life trajectory.

    The only issue, which is already annoying me, is exactly what you said --- those people having no clue what a school psychologist does. They simply think I am going to be a school-setting therapist and don't understand why I would do that instead of becoming a "real therapist" (clinical psychologist???) Or they think I'm going to become a guidance counselor... I guess it just proves how little people (including educators) pay attention to learning differences and special ed within our current education system!

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